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Welcome to Roadside Peek News. This section will feature a news peek of what's happening out on the road. While not pretending to be comprehensive, we hope you'll visit this section from time to time to keep up on just a sample of issues that are roadside related. Don't forget to check out the Roadside Peek main page for the day's update.

June 2014

Robert E. Lee Motel Sign Sighting

Abingdon, VA - Before and after look at the Robert E. Lee Motel sign after being rescued when the motel was demolished in 2009, courtesy of Tony Craig.

Canada Updates from the Soo

Ontario, Canada - Photos courtesy of Allan Culley added to Roadside Peek's Midwest section: Coffee Shops, Foods of the Orient, Neon Eateries, Sit Down Eateries, Other Roadside Motels, Other Roadside Signage

Marsh Stogies Rooftop Sign Surviving

Ontario, Canada - Photo of the Marsh Stogies rooftop sign in Wheeling, WV added to Other Roadside Signage Southeast courtesy of Jim Zahniser.

February 2014

Former Angel Food Big Donut Threatened

Long Beach, CA - The giant Angel Food donut on 7th Street in Long Beach is threatened to be rolled on to oblivion. A franchise Dunkin' Donuts is requesting approval from the Long Beach Planning Commission to demolish the building and remove the donut. Strange how a reuse of the giant donut is not in the current plans.

Information on how to help save the donut can be found at this Los Angeles Conservancy action alert.

UPDATE: Save the Donut advocates appear to have won this battle. A Dunkin' Donuts franchisee representative stated "the last thing we want to do is be viewed as the guys that killed the doughnut" at an appearance at the city planning commission on February 6, 2014.

October 2013

Winchester Drive-in Theatre Grand Re-opening

Saugus, MA - The Winchester Drive-in will be having their grand re-opening this Friday, which will be their first time open for business since the June 7 tornado that hit the drive-in and caused damage.

Many thanks to David Hughes for update.

So Long Hilltop Steak House

Saugus, MA - The Hilltop Steak House will open and close its doors one last time at 10pm EST Sunday October 20. Yes, this Saugus, MA landmark is shutting down after 52 years. It's not known yet what will happen to the 68 foot cactus sign.

For more information, see Roadside Peek's Spotlight on the Hilltop Steak House. 10

September 2013

Cabazon's Wheel Inn Sudden Closure

Cabazon, CA.- Unfortunately, another well known nostalgic landmark has shut its doors. On September 23, 2013, The Wheel Inn truck stop and diner closed down for good after over 50 years in business. The Wheel Inn has been a filming location and is best known for its Cabazon dinosaurs in the back.

September 2013

Twedt's Bowling Alley Closing Down

Largo, FL - After 46 years bringing fun and entertainment to Largo and the neighboring communities, Twedt's Bowling Alley has called it a day and will close this Labor Day Weekend 2013. General Manager Tod Janssen say the business decision to close is based on the reality that there are many more activities to do these days.

August 2013

New Gold Dome Owner

Oklahoma City, OK - The new owner of the landmark Gold Dome will soon enter into a redevelopment agreement with an environmental engineering firm. The firm, TEEMCO has confirmed that the company intends to moved its operation into the dome after the renovations are complete.

July 2013

New Fort Worth Drive-in Open for Season

Fort Worth, TX - During this era of drive-in theaters closing down and being replaced by Walmarts and development, a rarity recently occurred. A new drive-in opened.

The Coyote Drive-in in Fort Worth, TX was founded in 2011 and opened for the first time just a couple of months ago. According to the Coyote Drive-in website, the theater location also features spectacular views of downtown Fort Worth.

Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

Last Hurrah for Apache Drive-in Theatre

Globe, CA - This (2013) is the last season for the Apache Drive-in. They plan to close the drive-in around Labor Day weekend, as they don't want to or plan to go digital.

Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

Motor Vu Drive-in Theatre Permanently Closed

Imperial, CA - As they say (who's they?), all good things must come to an end. The Motor Vu, like many other of its brothers and sisters, closed up permanently in April 2013. Word is the closure was due to low attendance and simply not making enough money to stay open.

Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

Winchester Drive-in Theatre Takes Tornado Direct Hit

Oklahoma City, OK - The Winchester Drive-in Theatre was directly hit by a tornado on Friday June 7, 2013 and the damage was great. According to owner Lindy Shanbour, the plan is to re-open again sometime this summer but no date has been set yet.

For more information, see the Winchester Drive-in website.

Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

January 2013

World's Largest Thermometer Deemed Eyesore and For Sale

Baker, CA - In recent years, the giant thermometer off the I-15 in Baker has seen its neon slowly disappear and now the thermometer has been dark for the past few years. According to Southern California public radio station 89.3 KPCC, the 134-foot structure no longer lights up and the owner claims he can't afford the electricity bill which runs about $8,000 a month. Some community leaders now want the Thermometer taken down.

Now the recent news is that the thermometer is for sale with an asking price of $1.75 million. Included in the price is a gift shop and a four-acre parcel.

Sources: 89.3 KPCC, LA Times

December 2, 2012

Stewart's Root Beer in Mansfield Shuts Down

Mansfield, OH - Just got word from Stewart's Root Beer owners that they have closed their Mansfield, OH drive-in business due to retirement and current economic times. Their Stewart's business had been in business for well over 50 years now with car hop service to boot. Best wishes to Chuck and Wanda Phelps and their root beer stand will be missed.

Big Tex Destroyed by Electrical Fire

Dallas, TX - The roadside icon Big Tex was destroyed on October 19, 2012 when a fire broke out around his right boot area and engulfed his big ol' frame. As they say, "everything is big in Texas" and Big Tex is no slouch, standing 52 feet tall with a 75 gallon hat and 50 pound belt buckle. This metal cowboy was built in 1949 as a Santa Claus then moved to the fairgrounds as Big Tex in 1952. Word from the Mayor and Texas Fair officials is that Big Tex will be rebuilt in time for the 2013 fair. More information here at Roadside Peek's R.I.P. Big Tex.

Former Lady Luck Casino Redeveloped as Grand Hotel

Las Vegas, NV - Redevelopment work on the former Lady Luck Hotel and Casino is underway, with the new hotel to be called Downtown Grand. The new hotel will be an anchor for a revitalized area around Third Street with new bars and restaurants.

Downtown Grand is scheduled to open sometime in late 2013.


Past News

2010 Q4 '10 | Q3 '10 | Q2 '10 | Q1 '10
2009 Q4 '09 | Q3 '09 | Q2 '09 | Q1 '09
2008 Q4 '08 | Q3 '08 | Q2 '08 | Q1 '08
2007 Q4 '07 | Q3 '07 | Q2 '07 | Q1 '07
2006 Q4 '06 | Q3 '06 | Q2 '06 | Q1 ' 06
2005 Q4 '05 | Q3 '05 | Q2 '05 | Q1 '05
2004 Q4 '04 | Q3 '04 | Q2 '04 | Q1 '04
2003 | 2002







© Copyright 1998-2013 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.